Only The Good Die Young


elisabeth2_icon.gif trask_icon.gif

with alessandro_icon.gif

Scene Title Only the Good Die Young
Synopsis She doesn't qualify. (At least not in her own mind.)
Date October 2, 2019

Red Hook Market

New York City as he remembers it is long gone. He knew that. It's a hellhole. The Safe Zone is little better than a third-world country in a lot of ways. But there are signs of the hardy, steadfast heart of New Yorkers all around too — construction zones, people bustling to and fro. Few vehicles. A lot of homeless folks. But signs of a community pulling together. Teenagers can be seen in the city, heading to and from Brooklyn College, which is open and running their fall semester. Red Hook Market runs just outside what used to be FRONTLINE's headquarters. It's more like a street bazaar feeling than a strip mall, but … the signs of life and heart may be encouraging.

Over the past few days, he's managed to establish several things about the blonde interloper who is impersonating Elisabeth Harrison.

1) She doesn't keep to a routine. She's living in the Raytech complex. Going to and from work at the new NYPD headquarters, she varies her route every time. She takes coffee runs at random times. She's ridiculously situationally aware — eyes on a constant swivel, much as he remembers his Liz being. And she has a constant shadow — usually it's a very large black man, but occasionally there's another man shadowing her. And they are very much her shadows, not her partners. They even accompany her, though they stay much farther in the background, on police calls when she has to go out. And law enforcement calls aren't easily predictable at the best of times, so which ones she personally shows up on is next to impossible to judge.

2) She has apparently managed to fool some of the people closest to his Liz — she's living in the Raytech complex, which either means Richard Cardinal believes her or he's keeping her under his thumb to keep a close eye on her. Could explain the bodyguards too. 3) She is often out and about with a small sandy-blonde girl who is clearly hers. And they are never unaccompanied. There are two bodyguards, one who clearly has the girl as primary and one who has Elisabeth as primary.

All of that said, it's still really hard to tell whether the woman is the real deal. She moves differently than she used to. There is a tightness to her bearing that speaks to hardship. But they've all suffered that. The intervening years have certainly not dimmed the sharp edge on her that keeps her watchful and wary of her surroundings. She might be even more wary than the woman he remembers. She's very slender but it's more in the lines of her face where experience leaves its mark that she's changed. She looks older than the 2019 version of Elisabeth Harrison that he once met. Her life has been a hell of a lot harder. Today as she leaves the Raytech complex, the little girl is not with her. The man who follows her out of the building isn't the 6'4" hulk who is usually her companion. He's still around 6' but more a wiry, lean sort of strength to him. He wears shades on his eyes and doesn't walk with her as the other man does. He simply does hs job, staying far enough back not to be obtrusive. She makes her way into the marketplace, legs and hips clad in scruffy jeans, hands shoved into the pockets of a gray fleece hoodie. Her blonde hair is loose, around shoulder length, and she seems to be in no hurry today.

The man in black has been stalking her for a while now, at least a week. He has of course been careful to stay far enough back, and in crowds whenever possible. Today he has decided to test just how many similarities this woman has to his Liz. As the day begins dropping to twilight, he waits till her back is turned, in a relatively quiet and empty area and then skips a quarter across the cobblestones of a nearby empty alley as he watches her from one of the adjacent fire escapes. The quarter making a very soft ratatatat on the stones below so quiet that even he can not hear it.

Interestingly, the audiokinetic's metaphorical ears do in fact perk up. She turns her face halfway toward the tiny sound, lost to everyone else in the evening murmur of people all around while the shops of the market are closing. Her body language shifts from casually watchful to alert, eyes scanning briefly in the direction of the alley. Could be a lot of things, after all — most totally innocent. But as always, the woman walks more toward possible trouble than away.

The bodyguard behind her seems to shift his own attention, coming more alert as well, but he doesn't move to intercept her — she is a cop.

Upon seeing her react he heads up the fire escape toward the roof, The movement may draw attention, being a couple stories up his foot falls likely would not be detected by the bodyguard anyway, but oddly enough the black clad figure doesn't make sound to Liz's ears either.

The flicker of movement above draws Elisabeth's blue eyes, and she narrows them slightly as the figure makes it over the lip of the roof. The only reason she heard the sound of footsteps kept soft is because she was 'listening' harder. And she stretches her ability slightly to reach farther, to see if she can tell where he's going. But… there is nothing. And it's that more than anything else that piques her curiosity. Why can't she hear him running across the rooftop? Why can't she pick up a heartbeat?

Glancing back toward Alessandro, Elisabeth slants a grin at the dark-haired man and murmurs, "Hey, checking something out. If I'm not back in a few, go ahead and sound the alarm."

The man literally facepalms as the blonde takes off into the alley and shimmies up the fire escape to go take a look-see on that person who makes no noise. "Jesus fucking Christ," he grunts. He's immediately texting someone and Elisabeth herself ignores it, hastening up the flights to the roof level. She does slow down as she gets there, far more cautious about the idea that the person could still be standing right up there or something. Hell, for all she knows, he teleported away, though! But it's very clear, the way she climbs those last few steps, that the woman has been ambushed before. She is very watchful, one hand on her holstered firearm as she scans.

The roof is relatively empty, no where someone could hide without being invisible, The only adjacent buildings are behind her, across the alley, a good ten to 15 foot jump, (and one she would have seen} or directly opposite, about a 5 foot jump away. That building has a couple of larger chimneys on it, otherwise the figure whoever it was, is a ghost.

Elisabeth takes a few steps, keeping in the open. Yeah, sure, it might be a good way to get shot. And maybe she thinks about that possibility, given the way she looks around. A slight frown creases her forehead and she calls out quietly, "Hey… anyone up here? Just checking to make sure you're okay." If it's a kid or a homeless person with a power — and there are a lot of them in the city right now — who might be in trouble, she feels obligated to make sure they're okay. Her ability flows from her out in the direction of the rooftop that's only a five-foot jump. She's not going to make the jump. Alessandro would literally have a heart attack or something if he caught wind of that shit. But she does move to the edge, glancing down briefly. "You're not in any trouble. But if you need help or something, I can help."

The voice has a croak to it, he speaks loud enough that she can hear, the wind carrying his words to her from the next roof over. He hasn't stepped out, there is still no heart beat or sound of his movement. There is anger to the voice, and it doesn't have the same quality or timbre it had previously, "Who are you?" The question seems relatively simple and straight forward.

Her head tips, and Elisabeth steps back only one step. For a woman whose world is sounds, that one…. it's not one she recognizes, but there are things familiar in the underlying structure of the sound. "I'm Lieutenant Harrison, NYPD. Elisabeth. … Come out, please?" The request lacks the edge of command that she would normally put on it. His is not a voice that she expects, but it feels like a voice she knows. "I'm not going to arrest you or anything like that. I just thought if you needed anything, I could maybe offer assistance."

"WHO ARE YOU?" The question is repeated, more anger this time, more volume, and maybe more ….despair… "Who the HELL are you and what the FUCK do you think you are doing" He steps out from behind the chimmney. The man is clad in black from head to toe, his scarf is up covering the bottom half of his face, and the hat down to cover the top half, leaving only his eyes in the thin line between, maybe 30 feet from her on the next roof.

Now she backs up several steps, sweeping her ability out and around him…. and finding that she still cannot find him. His voice carries to her just fine, but she can't 'sense' him using sound waves. She can sense that the sound waves are acting like they're supposed to, flowing toward and away from him. But not within a bubble of space. Her hand comes away from the pistol at her hip, both hands rising up.

"I just told you who I am." The scarf over the lower part of his face is keeping his appearance from her, but there's only been one person she's ever known who can do what that feels like. "It's complicated. But I swear… it's really me. Ask me.. whatever you want," she offers gently. It's not the first time she's faced off on this kind of confrontation.

Trask takes several steps forward, not reaching the edge of his roof, not closing the distance enough to affect her, but closing enough that even in the light of the stars and the moon she can see what little of his face is visible more clearly, and he can see her eyes as he asks his next question, his own blue eyes locking on hers, as the bubble moves with him. "My name is Lord Nighthawk Von Bismark, on what day did I die?" He asks it like a riddle, his eyes narrowing, watching her, testing her, even though she can almost hear a smirk creep into his vice when he asks.

A single brow quirks upward. "Which time?" Elisabeth asks drily. "The original Columbia 14 that we averted? The time you fell off the bridge and I thought you were dead? The time you were in fucking South America and then the Institute pretended you were alive just to get me to MIT? I'm pretty sure there were at least two more times, but damned if I can remember exactly what the dates were at this point." The admission is hard — there's just been so much that's happened in her own life the past few years, some of the older stuff like specific dates… those are lost to the years.

He takes one more step forward, one foot on the edge and he searches her eyes, "How the hell is it you? How the hell can it be you? " His voice has firmed up a little, as he reaches up and pulls down the scarf to reveal his face. "Where the hell have you been"

Lowering her hands slowly, Elisabeth can't help but choke out a small laugh. "Hold that thought." She heads back to the other side of the building and looks down — instead of texting him, she apparently says something over the edge to her lurking shadow. The man is halfway up the fire escape and halts there, growling under his breath in displeasure. Then she turns and comes back, still not quite in his power's range. If he's going to approach her, it's going to have to be on this rooftop — she ain't jumping, mister!

"Uhm…. Long, long story. Can… we just leave it at … you got to take the short-short version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride when you visited this year. I had to go the long way." It's not much in the way of explanation, honestly.

Trask takes a couple steps back and then forward and leaps the intervening space to land on the roof with you. He smiles softly, "You know I think that was your complaint the last time we met in this year as well. Leave it to you to always pick the longer more difficult path no matter what I do."

She looks surprised at that comparison and barks out another soft laugh. Once he's in range, her ability deserts her. It's the final confirmation that he is who he seems as well. And Elisabeth studies the new, harsher lines of his face even as he studies hers. "Well… you know me," she tries to quip. "I get bored easy."

So terribly not true. But at this moment, it's about all she can say. Swallowing hard, Elisabeth adds softly, "I suppose I ought to be grateful I didn't find myself against a wall at knifepoint?" She's mostly teasing, but… there's a kernel of truth to it. The last time shit like this went on, it wasn't exactly fun and games.

Trask smiles a little "Well I did successfully lure you away from your portection detail to an empty roof in the middle of nowhere, if I had wanted to kill you, I could have made a good showing of it at the very least." He nods toward the fire escape, "So what is up with Thing 1 and Thing 2?"

Blowing out a slow breath, Elisabeth's smile eases. "Oh… same old shit, different year. Precog visions of doom surrounding people of our acquaintance, and Richard-level paranoia multiplied by like ten thousand because I showed back up in the world with our daughter in tow." She shoves a hand through her blonde hair. "Guess I shoulda been a little more careful those last couple weeks before the MIT/Alaska hits." Or… sometimes the Universe just has its own plans no matter how many times you change the course a little.

The question tickles his brain but he lets it go, one step at a time, and this sort of morass is always hard to take apart, though the very fact that he is willing and able to accept this so easily might say something of his own sanity. He takes a deep sigh closes his eyes and opens them again, "So did your precogs tell you to expect me?"

"Precogs never could predict anything to do with you," Elisabeth reminds softly. "They never see you coming." She pauses and then smiles. "There's a lot to talk about. Would you… like to find a place for a drink? Or… you could come back to the complex, if you'd like." She pauses and then admits, "I'm not entirely sure how to … " How to act. How to react. And then she steps forward, just enough to wrap her arms around his shoulders tightly. "It's really good to see you, Norton."

Trask hugs back, his head burying into her neck for a moment, "Your alive… that's… enough of a miracle for one day. I think I am going to take a few minutes just to enjoy that. Before I bother questioning it any further." Yeah his voice is rough, different, aged, but underneath it's still him.

She still has the power to be surprised sometimes by people's reactions to her being alive… but not this one. Elisabeth just holds him tightly, giving him the time and room he needs to assimilate the situation. "I'm … so sorry. I would have sent word when I got settled, but…" She hadn't even known if he was alive, much less where to find him. And she'd been pretty overwhelmed by being home herself. She chuckles quietly as she holds him, not demanding explanations of his own past several years either. She does ask, amused, "Did you come here expecting to have to vanquish some con woman?"

Trask says, "Oh a con-woman would have be the best case scenario, I figured it more likely a company-slash-institute doppleganger as part of some long term insidious plot."

Pursing her lips as she finally pulls away, Elisabeth gives him a deadpan look. "Oh good, I managed to fool you."

Trask nods, "this is where you stab me in the gut with a ice cold smile."

"Mmmmm," Elisabeth agrees. "I never did get the ice cold smile part down," she laments. A light shoulder-check follows. "Jerk. You could have just called Raytech and demanded Cardinal get off his ass and explain things, you know."

Trask says, "You know my last girlfriend did the ice cold smile like a true sociopath, you could learn a thing or two." he chuckles, "Do I look like the kind of person that has corporate CEO's on speed dial and does things the respectable way?""

"Pffft. If you'd shown up at the front desk, he'd have talked to you," Elisabeth assures him softly. "He knew what you meant to me." It's as simple as that. As she steps back and grins at him, she points toward the fire escape. "C'mon, Nightstalker or … whatever the fuck you're calling yourself these days," she's totally teasing him for the name. "Let's get off the roof before Alessandro calls out the big guns and we have not only my two primary bodyguards but a really freakedout shadowmorph to deal with. Drinks on me, okay? You can bombard me with as many questions as you want." It's sort of a lure to get him off the roof, sure. But it's a sincere offer.

Trask says, "Well we wouldn't want that." He smiles, and nods, "Let's go, they will likely be getting worried otherwise."

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